Living conditions

The "assembly centers" were hastily erected quarters located throughout the West Coast at fairgrounds, racetracks and other similar facilities. Conditions at these locations were appalling. People were housed in animal stalls and barracks with communal bathrooms and mess halls. Privacy was next to nonexistent. Most families lived in a 20-by-20-foot room separated from the next "apartment" by wood partitions that did not reach the ceiling. Shortages of food and deplorable sanitation were common. Overcrowding, uncertainty, and stress created tension in the "assembly centers," even as the demoralized camp inmates tried to improve living conditions.

World War II (216)
Temporary Assembly Centers (177)
Living conditions (367)

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367 items
Frank Yamasaki Interview I Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-107-15)
vh Frank Yamasaki Interview I Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-107-15)
Former teacher visits camp: loss of "happy-go-lucky" adolescence in Puyallup
Min Tonai Interview II Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-302-6)
vh Min Tonai Interview II Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-302-6)
Coping with difficult conditions in camp

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

Roy H. Matsumoto Interview Segment 42 (ddr-densho-1000-153-42)
vh Roy H. Matsumoto Interview Segment 42 (ddr-densho-1000-153-42)
Feeling angry about conditions in Santa Anita Assembly Center, California

Although Mr. Matsumoto does not identify himself as a Kibei (American-born person of Japanese ancestry sent to Japan for formal education and socialization when young and later returned to the U.S.), some of his life experiences are similar to those who do identify themselves as such.

Roy H. Matsumoto Interview Segment 41 (ddr-densho-1000-153-41)
vh Roy H. Matsumoto Interview Segment 41 (ddr-densho-1000-153-41)
Memories of mass removal: traveling to the Santa Anita Assembly Center, becoming head of the "vegetable department" at Santa Anita

Although Mr. Matsumoto does not identify himself as a Kibei (American-born person of Japanese ancestry sent to Japan for formal education and socialization when young and later returned to the U.S.), some of his life experiences …

Roy H. Matsumoto Interview Segment 44 (ddr-densho-1000-153-44)
vh Roy H. Matsumoto Interview Segment 44 (ddr-densho-1000-153-44)
Keeping busy to pass the time in assembly center, trying not to feel too angry

Although Mr. Matsumoto does not identify himself as a Kibei (American-born person of Japanese ancestry sent to Japan for formal education and socialization when young and later returned to the U.S.), some of his life experiences are similar to those who …

Kanji Sahara Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-448-8)
vh Kanji Sahara Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-448-8)
Living in Santa Anita near families from the same prewar area
Tom Matsuoka Segment 25 (ddr-densho-1000-47-25)
vh Tom Matsuoka Segment 25 (ddr-densho-1000-47-25)
Joining family at the Pinedale Assembly Center, California: "So doggone hot..."
Shigeko Sese Uno Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-98-15)
vh Shigeko Sese Uno Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-98-15)
Caring for a newborn baby in Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington
Shigeko Sese Uno Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-98-17)
vh Shigeko Sese Uno Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-98-17)
Fellow camp inmate describes losing child during the curfew, too afraid to go to a hospital
Tosh Yasutake Interview Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-138-4)
vh Tosh Yasutake Interview Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-138-4)
First impressions of the Puyallup Assembly Center: "it was like going to an army camp"

William Toshio Yasutake was interviewed together with his sister Mitsuye (Yasutake) Yamada and surviving brother, Joseph Yasutake, in group sessions on October 8-9, 2002. He was interviewed individually on November 14, 2002.

Before being contacted by Densho, the Yasutake siblings had …

May Ota Higa Interview Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-174-18)
vh May Ota Higa Interview Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-174-18)
Restrictions after the bombing of Pearl Harbor; first impressions of Puyallup Assembly Center
Mits Koshiyama Interview Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-130-7)
vh Mits Koshiyama Interview Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-130-7)
Santa Anita Assembly Center: making camouflage nets, observing loss of family ties
Ike Hatchimonji Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-381-9)
vh Ike Hatchimonji Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-381-9)
First impressions of camp: "it was quite a disappointment"

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the …

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